Under pressure

Idiot proof
We’re not really advocating a stupidity surcharge, but we have to admit: there are times when the idea of a revenge tax is mighty tempting

A St. John’s pub made headlines in late November when a patron claimed she was charged a 25 per cent “idiot tax” tip after mistakenly leaving her credit card at the establishment overnight. Though that seems like a harsh way to treat a customer for being forgetful (to be fair, the pub in question said it closes off all credit cards at closing time and charges a standard 15 per cent tip), there are instances when we feel an idiot tax might be justified. What follows are three such examples, as well as the suggested amount to charge for the offence.

Offence: Change room littering
Is there anything more annoying for a clothing store clerk than walking into a change room after a customer has used it and finding the 15 items he or she didn’t buy lying on the floor? At least bring the stuff to the cashier.
Idiot tax levied: 18% (A firm but fair amount. Offending customers will think twice about continuing their slovenly ways after finding this extra charge on their credit card statement.)

Offence: Table loitering
Every coffee shop has those patrons who buy a cup of coffee, and then nurse it for three hours while chatting with friends on Facebook using the store’s free Internet.
Idiot tax levied: 21% (To be charged for each hour the offending customer stays in your establishment. If they complain, and they will, tell them to buy more coffee – or start paying your monthly Wi-Fi bill.)

Offence: Wanton debit card use
A customer walks into a convenience store, grabs a two dollar energy drink and asks to pay for it using a debit card? We are increasingly living in a cashless society, but, come on – you don’t have a toonie in your pocket?
Idiot tax levied: 300% (Some stores require customers to make a minimum purchase of, say, $5 in order to pay by debit card. We think the tough love tax approach is more effective – and lucrative.)

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